Late last year, research indicated that certain toys may be collecting audio recording and personal information from children and sending that data to a company that used the information to improve the voice-recognition tools it sells to the military and law enforcement agencies. While consumer advocates quickly filed complaints with federal regulators in the U.S., across the pond, authorities in Germany are now directing parents to get rid of the “My Friend Cayla” doll. [More]
Three months after Apple CEO Tim Cook called the European Union’s ruling that the company owes Ireland about €13 billion in back taxes “political crap,” the tech giant officially filed an appeal against the decision, adding to the already years-long battle between the Commission, Apple, and Ireland. [More]
Regulators in Europe are proposing a big update to copyright law in the region that, if adopted, would likely to lead to major changes in the way your news aggregators, well, aggregate.
When you’re trying to combine a Belgian-Brazilian beer giant (that loves to pass itself off as American) with a huge London-based beer company whose roots trace back to South Africa and Wisconsin, you’re going to need to shed some overlapping businesses to get all the approvals you need. It looks like Anheuser-Busch’s plan to sell off some SABMiller brands overseas has helped gain approval from European Union regulators who have given the green light to the $107 billion merger of the two companies.
Weeks after European regulators announced they were opening an investigation into Google’s requirements that Android-based devices come pre-loaded with Google apps, the tech company is reportedly poised to put a second, longer-running European antitrust case related to its search behind it, to the tune of a $3.4 billion fine. [More]
A week after European regulators announced an investigation into Google’s requirements that Android-based devices come pre-loaded with Google apps, a similar stateside probe is finally getting off the ground. [More]
In order to grease the wheels for the mammoth $107 billion merger of beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, a number of Miller’s brew brands are being sold off as quickly as possible. Only a week after announcing that Miller might sell a number of premium labels — including Peroni, Grolsch, and Meantime — to Japan’s Asahi Group, the $2.9 billion deal is now official.
Although Europeans in 28 countries have the option to ask Google to remove Internet search results about themselves under certain conditions, Google is pushing back against a new “right to be forgotten” request — one that seeks to remove nine news articles about the “right to be forgotten” itself from its internet search results.
Because the sun rose in the east today and will set in the west, it’s time to talk about cheese: Specifically, Parmesan cheese made in the United States. The European Union is setting up to fight to keep American-made cheese from having the right to be called Parmesan. [More]
Regulators over in Europe are checking into Apple’s deals with cellphone carriers after complaints that the iPhone contracts the company uses stifle competition. There are no formal complaints yet, but a group of wireless carriers banded together to submit info about their various contracts to the European Commission, in a move reportedly started by French carriers.
Budget airline Ryanair, of the standing room-only cabins idea, has big plans for its Irish rival Aer Lingus. But it can’t get down to that happy future of slashing customer comfort and stripping the flying experience down to bare bones just yet because the European Union has blocked its third attempt to acquire its competitor. [More]
There’s no such thing as “pure chocolate,” says a European Union high court, and the phrase cannot appear on the front of candy packages.
As part of their multi-pronged effort to fight the financial Godzilla besieging the world economy, the European Commission today proposed a 14-day no-questions-asked return period for any online purchases made within the European Union. The “two-week cooling-off period” is designed to give consumers a chance to shop across borders for the best prices without worrying about return policies. The practically adorable European decision to respond to a financial crisis with consumer protections made us want to look inwards at some of the onerous return policies Americans face.
Viviane Reding, the European Union’s Telecommunications Commissioner, is our new wireless hero. She’s demanding that wireless carriers in Europe begin billing on a per-second basis rather than per-minute, because “at the retail level, the difference between billed and actual minutes appears to be typically around 20 percent.”
Here’s something everyone can be thankful for—the Chinese, Europeans, and tangentially everyone in America and the rest of the world who have spent the better part of last year dodging lead bullets from the factory nation. The European Union’s consumer chief has said that China has made “quantum leaps” in improving its safety protocols, and will therefore not face a ban in the EU.
Today Mattel announced a recall of 155,000 Mexican-made toys being sold in countries throughout Europe and the United States. There’s no lead contamination this time around; the recall was announced “due to concerns that small pieces could detach from the toys and cause children to choke.” The product is the Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen Toy, part of the Fisher-Price range.
China’s toy imports make up more than half the toy market in the EU, and apparently their lax safety record hasn’t escaped the grim, existential gaze of Europe. Meglena Kuneva, an EU commissioner, put it quite bluntly in front of the EU’s internal market and consumer protection committee last week: “This is the last warning. If there’s an unsatisfactory report in October we will [impose] the next layer of measures. Among them is a ban on products,” which the Associated Press reports could include toys.